Each year residents of the Town of Colonial Beach, VA, eagerly anticipate the return of the osprey, the Official Town Bird. This raptor has a chocolate brown back, a white chest and a black eye stripe. They make their home near bodies of water as their diet consists of 99% fresh fish! The Town celebrates the return of this amazing hawk with an annual festival on Town Hill. This festival will be held on April 13, 2024 and It is hosted by the Virginia Osprey Foundation based in Colonial Beach.
As part of the Virginia Tourism Corporation‘s WanderLove campaign, we invite bird lovers to bring your binoculars and join the festival with a road trip to Colonial Beach, Virginia, where you can safely observe the ospreys during a walk through Town; from your car; or via rented kayak, canoe, paddleboard or golf cart. (CBVA is a golf cart community!)
Though sad to see the bald eagles depart their fall and winter abodes, the first osprey sightings of the season bring excitement to bird lovers, who follow and document the elite raptors as they build their nests, nurture their eggs, and hatch their offspring. Many birdwatchers name the feathered pairs that return to the same nests year after year. In our “Osprey Garden” we boast 50 plus nesting sites in 2.6 square miles. These nests are built on platforms, treetops, and man-made structures. You may download an Osprey Tour Map here. To see all of our nesting sites, please click here for Osprey-Watch. The osprey is protected by the Migratory Bird Act. To find out information about our annual festival please click to view our website!
Colonial Beach, Virginia, is home to an abundance of bird wildlife, in addition to ospreys and eagles. Being located on a peninsula, CBVA is home to a variety of waterfowl, including herons, swans, hawks, ducks, gulls and more.
There’s no shortage of land birds, either! Backyard birds such as cardinals, cedar waxwings, blue birds and mourning doves pose happily for birding photographers.
The many nature areas in the surrounding Northern Neck provide even more opportunities for bird lovers to catch a glimpse of their favorite feathered wildlife (like wild turkeys, egrets, and owls!) Visit George Washington Birthplace National Monument, Westmoreland State Park, Caledon State Park, James Monroe’s Birthplace, and Voorhees Nature Preserve, to name a few.